How to attract the new wave of fashion talent

Stephanie Aslan
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The fashion world’s changing. When you’re looking to attract new talent, it’s no longer enough to simply advertise an opportunity to work for a huge label, and wait for the applications to roll in. Nor is it sufficient to offer a generous discount on really nice clothes. With most millennials willing to take a pay cut to work, even paying well isn’t enough. Here are our tips for how you can attract the best fashion retail talent.

Source sustainably

Sustainable fashion’s all the rage these days, and candidates increasingly want to work for socially responsible companies. To attract these candidates, source your products ethically and use sustainable materials, ensuring your workers are treated well, subject to pleasant working conditions and paid fairly. Being a responsible company makes you a more viable employer. Treating your workers fairly also bodes well for prospective applicants – but not treating them well can be severely damaging to your reputation, as shown by the scandal surrounding Beyoncé’s Ivy Park label.

Offer constant development

With 69% of millennials most engaged by career progression at work, you need to make sure you’re always giving them new challenges and opportunities to develop. Millennials want to know that they’re growing all the time. Provide regular training for your team and keep talking to them about their development needs. Supported by regular one-to-ones, tools like Open Blend allow managers to understand and keep track of what’s really important to their staff.Make sure your staff have opportunities for promotion, and communicate their development pathway from the outset. If you don’t offer them that development, someone else will.

Support charitable initiatives

Give your employees the chance to take part in regular charitable events, whether they’re quizzes, sporting challenges or charity days, and formalise them by making them part of your company benefits. Appointing a corporate charity partner or asking individual stores to select a local charity to support will give everyone in your team the chance to get involved, raise the profile of your activities and generate useful talent attraction publicity. River Island’s Explain Epilepsy campaign helped to raise awareness of the condition with backing from household names in entertainment and sport.

Adopt flexible working practices

Millennials crave flexibility at work, so give them more control over their start and finish times and when they take their lunch breaks. With the rise in the digital workforce, people are used to working anytime and anywhere. Having greater control over how they work means flexible workers are not only more productive – because they work in a way that best suits their strengths – but they're also happier.


Shout about it

Good fashion’s all about grabbing attention, from the catwalk to the clothes hanger. In the same way, there’s no point making all this effort to attract fashion retail talent unless you’re going to shout about it. Base your EVP on your ethical business practices and make them the focus of your PR and talent attraction campaigns. Engage your staff by asking them to like and share your content on social media and spread the word about all the great work you’re doing. Don’t forget that talent attraction campaigns are just the beginning. Once you’ve got them on board, the next trick is to  keep hold of them!

Catapult’s innovative recruitment tool allows you to check out candidates’ video profiles, past employer ratings and work experience details, helping you understand who they are as people and how they like to work.

If you need more advice about attracting the best fashion retail talent, speak to one of our experts.

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